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Sunday, July 3, 2022
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How to travel by bus from Lima to Cusco [+ train and flight tips]


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The cities of Lima and Cusco are filled with beautiful architectural sites to discover. Traveling by bus between these Peruvian cities is one of the best ways to see the country. If you already have your bucket list ready for things to do in Cusco, all you need now is to find the perfect Lima na Cusco busrit.

Welcome to Lima, probably your first stop in Peru.

In this guide I will take you through all the information you need about traveling by bus from Lima to Cusco. If you prefer a train ride or a flight, I also have some tips for you on those transportation options.

Are you traveling to Peru for the first time? Discover here all the indispensable things to do and see.

How far is Cusco from Lima?

Lima is the capital of Peru and sits on the country’s south coast and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The city of Cusco is located in the interior east of Lima, and it is the gateway to the incredible Machu Picchu. These two cities are 573 km apart on a map. However, they are separated by the formidable Andes mountains.

You have to take the winding road to the south to travel between the two cities. It sets the road distance from Lima to Cusco at about 1,100 km. This journey takes about 22 hours by bus, but it is much safer than traveling over the mountains. Many buses also include scenic stops along the way.

How to get from Lima to Cusco?

There is more than one way to get from Lima to Cusco. You can travel by plane, bus or train between the two cities. All of these transportation options have their pros and cons. The best way to travel from Lima to Cusco simply depends on your available time and budget.

A bus ride is the most common way to travel from Lima to Cusco. Although the trip takes almost a full day, it is comfortable, affordable and safe. If you want to fly from Lima to Cusco, your journey will only take about 1 hour and 30 minutes, definitely the fastest route, but it will cost you more than double the price of a bus ticket.

A train ride is another viable transportation option. However, there is no direct train from Lima to Cusco, so you need to combine a bus and train ride.

Discover here what to do and where to stay in Cusco!

Quickly cut through the famous great ancient geoglyphs Nazca lines as seen from the lookout tower, Nazca Desert of Peru
Lima to Cusco by bus is a lifelong experience, an opportunity to get close to some of Peru’s famous sights.

Why travel by bus from Lima to Cusco?

Among all these transportation options, I still believe that Lima to Cusco bus service is the best way to travel. Not only do you experience the countryside up close, but there are also practical benefits associated with bus travel.

This option offers the best value for money. Established bus companies offer you a comfortable ride during long journeys at an affordable price.

Bus travel is also the main form of long-distance transportation in Peru, making it easy to find a company that fits your budget and needs. Keep in mind that bus travel is very common in Peru and South America.

When choosing a reputable bus company, bus rides are also a very safe means of transportation. The buses of high-end companies are well serviced, drivers rotate regularly, and passengers are picked up from designated safe areas.

Take a bus from Lima to Cusco: what to expect

If this is your first time taking a bus in Peru, there may be a few things you are unsure about. Here is my guide on what to expect from your bus ride from Lima to Cusco.

> Types of buses in Peru

There are many public buses running from Lima to Cusco. The lower-end companies focus mainly on locals and do not offer services in English.

However, there are good public bus companies that are accessible to tourists and offer more convenience. Cruz del Sur, Oltursa and Civa are among the most trusted higher-end public transport companies in Peru. All of them offer at least one daily departure.

> Amenities on the Lima – Cusco buses

The quality of the bus is really a matter of getting what you pay for, so stick with the mid- and high-end companies for this long bus ride. A 22-hour ride can be tiring for your body, so rather spend that little bit extra to ensure you travel comfortably.

These buses include seats, toilets, television and air conditioning. The companies that advertise as a ‘Reclining Seats Bus’ usually include a blanket and a meal on the trip.

Bus traveling through Peru's countryside.  One of the most famous routes is from Lima to Cusco bus journey.
The Lima Cusco bus ride takes almost one day, but the views are incredible.

> Bus routes and terminals

If you choose a reputable company, your bus ride should be the longer but safer route to follow the south of Peru. Most public buses stop as little as possible and complete the ride between 21 and 23 hours.

A disadvantage of taking the public buses is that there is no central Lima bus station. Instead, each company operates from its own bus terminal which may be far from the city center. You need to plan transportation to the terminal and make sure you arrive at the right place and time.

When you buy your bus ticket (more on that below), make sure you check all the information about the pick-up and drop-off points. If you still have doubts about whether or not you can find the location on Google Maps, ask at your hotel or hostel reception, and I’m sure they’ll give you the right direction or even arrange a transfer.

How to buy bus tickets in Peru?

Public buses run daily from Lima to Cusco. Depending on the company, you can usually find rides in the morning and afternoon. Bus ticket prices range from PEN 100 to PEN 350 (about $ 25 to $ 80).

The most convenient way to buy your tickets is through a reputable website. We recommend that Boekweg. Instead of going to each bus company’s website or even local offices, you can compare prices, departure times and facilities about bus companies on this one website.

We love the Bookaway platform because you can compare transportation options, read users’ reviews, book your ticket and pay for it easily and in just one place. This means you only have to arrive on time on the day of your trip and enjoy the ride.

When buy your Lima Cusco bus ticket (click here), you will see all the information about bus schedules, luggage, meals and amenities included on the bus journey, travel time and location of departure and arrival.

After purchasing your ticket, it may take up to 24 hours to receive the confirmation. This happens because many operators do not work with immediate booking. So if you want to make sure you get a ticket for a specific date, it’s a good idea to book early. You can search for the best bus ride for your Lima to Cusco trip by clicking on the banner below.

If you have any doubts about how Bookaway works and how you can pay for your tickets, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Other transport from Lima to Cusco

If you prefer a faster trip, you can take a direct flight from Lima to Cusco. Several airlines offer daily flights between these cities, usually early in the morning. The average flight time is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will be flying from Lima Airport – Jorge Chavez International Airport to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco.

Traveling from Lima to Cusco by train is another popular option, but it takes longer than a bus ride and is also more expensive. However, it can be a delightful trip if you are looking for a scenic ride through the Andes. This is an excellent opportunity to see some of Peru’s famous sights from your window.

PeruRail train traveling from Puno to Machu Picchu.  One of the many ways to get from Lima to Cusco in Peru.
The scenic PeruRail train journey from Puno to Cusco.

Just be aware that there is no direct route from Lima and Cusco by train. You can travel from Lima to Puno by bus, and the journey will take 21 to 22 hours. Then you can take a scenic luxury PeruRail train to Cusco. The train ride to Cusco takes 11 hours, and it goes through the Peruvian Andes, past Lake Titicaca while you can enjoy the services and amenities on the train.

It’s certainly a longer and more expensive option to travel from Lima to Cusco, but it’s more of a lifelong experience than a means of transportation. You can also easily book your ticket from Lima to Puno, and Puno – Cusco to Bookaway’s Website. There you will find the train routes, ticket prices and details about this scenic train journey.

Final thoughts on taking a bus from Lima to Cusco

Now that you’re armed with all the details of how to book a bus ticket and what the ride entails, what are you waiting for? The beautiful cities of Lima and Cusco are ready for you to start exploring.

If you need more information about planning a trip, read our Travel Planning Page. For tips on booking the perfect stay, visit us Accommodation guide.

Send us a message if you still have doubts about how to get from Lima to Cusco. Or, if you made this trip, feel free to share your Peru travel experience with us.

Do you like this guide on how to get from Lima to Cusco? Pin it for later!

A practical guide to travel from Lima to Cusco by bus, train and flights.  How to buy the bus tickets, what is included in the price, how to plan your bus trip, and what to expect from the long bus ride.  Plus tips on how to get from Lima to Cusco by train (there is no direct train, btw) and how to plan the ultimate scenic ride from Lima to Cusco in Peru.



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